Blogtog Journal #3: In the Details

December 19, 2011

By Katrice 

In Blogtog Journals #1 and #2, I talked about what lead me to seek instruction by photographer John Stephens of JAS Photo and what I expected to be nothing more than an in-depth tutorial on how to use my actual camera and equipment to take better blog photos. 

Next up, what came after a review of my equipment. 

According to John, a blogtogger {a blogger who is scrutinizingly determined to produce quality original photos} can use virtually any camera efficiently and produce good images. It's all about the Composition, Lighting and Environment.

This was my first test — to take a photo focusing on the Composition. The photo above was my initial attempt. John says, "While there is no concrete right way to take a photo you want to always think about who or what you want to highlight in your images. The way you compose your image will assist in making this clear to your readers." You can either capture your subject in a landscape (HD) or vertical (portrait). The photo above is landscape and you'll notice that there is a lot of distraction in the background. My wide-angle lens was zoomed in as far as it could go.

This is the image I shot when John told me to change my composition to vertical. What a huge difference; especially considering that I sized these photos down to the same width for this post. The vertical shot is so much more profound. John's tip: Let the subject you're shooting dictate the perspective you choose. 

One of the most important parts of taking great photos is having a good source of light on your subject/object. John's tip: The best light source hands down is the sun and when available, take advantage. When you find yourself in a more challenging lighting situation, this is a great time to use your on camera flash to brighten up your subjects. The light from your on camera flash will require you to get closer to your subjects to be more evenly lit.

When I'm looking at photos, I tend to study everything going on around the subject. So, I chuckled to myself when we moved on to discussing Environment

{My photo}

{John's photo, using the pipes in the background as an accent.}

Your subject can be in place, your lighting could be spot on, but if your background is distracting it could ruin a potentially great photo. John's tip: Looking around to find the best backgrounds is always a simple but under-used technique for finding the best angle. You will not always be aware of the locations you will be going to, but just know that everything can be considered: the walls, the ceiling and even the floor!  This type of attention to detail will always put your images in a better place of interest because of the built in character.

Stay tuned for Blogtog Journal #4 ... The Story.

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  1. great tips. I really do love the last photo. The light peaking through. Excited for you & what you are learning. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Thanks so much! It's an amazing learning process.

  3. wow, this was helpful Katrice! I'm going to try some of these techniques ASAP! looking forward to the next installment! hope you're doing well sweetie!


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